A new platen and new ink on a Blickensderfer 5

Some supplies came in the mail today: an ink roll and some shrink tube.

This is the first time I’ve used shrink tube on a platen. I have some guts making a blickensderfer my first project, but the platen was disgusting.

I used the Reverend Munk’s website as a guide: https://munk.org/typecast/2017/11/19/shrink-tube-typewriter-platen-re-covering-diy-hermes-3000/.

I cut the tube and heated the rubber over an oven burner, rolling it to smooth out the surface. Then I cut the excess off.

I decided to just sand down the rollers, as I was wary that new rubber might prevent paper from clearing. Overall, I am happy with the result. The paper feeds in pretty smoothly, and, with the new ink, I can now type some words. I’ll have to make some minor adjustments, but this machine is coming back to life.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill M says:

    Congratulations on your successful recovery of the Blick.
    I’ve used heat shrink on a few platens and rollers myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thank you, Bill. I hope to tackle a Corona 3 tonight. That thing has never worked.


  2. John Cooper says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. jay says:

    Wow, this is very cool, and inspiring, too. I am too timid at this point to try the heat shrink tubing, but I love what you did and the result you got! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thanks, Jay. I first tried with feed rollers on an old Underwood. That gave me a little practice. The trick was quickly rolling the platen after each application of heat. The old surface was complete trash, which made the attempt less risky.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Richard P says:

    Nice work. Shrink tubing is so much fun! I love the Blick’s question mark.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thanks, Richard!


  5. Blick No.06 says:

    This is so encouraging to see success on so many fronts! My shrink tubing is still in transit, can’t wait to give this a try. So, you didn’t need to remove the old hardened material from the platen? Mine is cracked and missing pieces, so I think I’ll have to cut it off or something. In the exposed areas there appear to be some nails, which I guess I’ll need to extricate as well.

    For the feed roller, sounds like it has enough grip with shrink tube? I saw a YouTube video where the guy used silicone tubing for the feed roller, but I couldn’t figure out how to source a small amount with that specificity, and I also prefer not to mess with trying to remove the rubber from that roller, which appears more intact than the platen. So, I’m glad to hear the shrink tube can work for this as well! (for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEEU7UZc3WA&list=PLaTtyDbu4pjYPKH59VkbzS76BviYVSOkp&index=7&t=200s)

    And, thank you for the lede on the ink roller! I was bummed out because I saw a guy who was selling wool ones just a couple months back, but looks like he’s sold out and closed up shop. (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Blickensderfer-typewriter-NEW-ink-roller-/352439863525?hash=item520f0d88e5%3Ag%3AkjwAAOSwZjJU8TEV&nma=true&si=VDgnPVIDf6PVzG2jGwO5%252BmEcKtg%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      My platen was already pretty stripped, so I didn’t need to worry about added diameter with the new rubber. For the rollers, I gently hammered off the cracked rubber. What is important is that the diameter of your tubing closely matches the original.

      When you heat the tubing over the platen/rollers, intermittently roll them on a flat surface (like dough) to eliminate irregular surface. My hands got a bit hot, but it wasn’t too bad. I rolled fast.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      That looks similar to what I used.

      Liked by 1 person

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